Autopsy No. 2 finds external injuries

The Malaysian Insider

A second autopsy on suspected car thief Kugan Ananthan has found external injuries caused by blunt force trauma, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

The 22-year-old, who died while in police custody on Jan 20, was said to have died of cardiac arrest following the injuries, the sources said.

Initial findings also revealed Kugan was asthmatic, and his condition had caused phlegm to accumulate in his lungs.

The full report is expected to be issued within days after Universiti Malaya Medical Centre pathologists carried out the autopsy that lasted nearly 10 hours on Sunday following a dispute over earlier findings that he had died of "water in the lungs".

The Attorney-General’s Chambers have classified the case as murder and 11 policemen from the Subang USJ Taipan police station have been reassigned to desk duty pending investigations.

It is understood that closed-circuit-television-cameras (CCTV) were not placed in the police station’s lock-up despite a directive years ago that was intended to prevent claims of police abuse.

Kugan was said to be part of a syndicate involved in stealing luxury cars but his family said he has no criminal record and worked as an insurance claims executive.

Kugan will be cremated at the Puchong Batu 14 crematorium on Wednesday.

Fearing trouble, police have warned his family and friends not to turn the funeral into a protest following unconfirmed reports that a procession with banners and placards are being planned.

The police are now questioning some 21 people, including two deputy ministers, for allegedly barging into a hospital mortuary to view Kugan’s body last week. The family and the two politicians dispute the police and hospital version of events, saying they had a right to see the body.

His death is the latest over the years of suspects, mainly Indians, who had died suddenly in police custody.

Political parties across the divide have asked for an independent probe into his death and others in the past.

His family has also criticised the police for hiding behind a wall of silence over the death.

“The police never informed us that he was arrested and we only heard about it from an anonymous caller,” Kugan’s uncle V. Raviroy told The Malaysian Insider.

The 42-year-old businessman said no matter what Kugan was accused of doing; he did not deserve to die.

“Kugan was only 22, he had his whole life ahead of him, why did he end up dead in the lockup?” he lamented.